Nature Education

To help future generations develop a bond with the natural environment, we offer children and adolescents experiences amidst the magnificent Finnish nature.

Children are running and jumping on a forest road.
Photo: Photokrafix

We work for a sustainable future by passing on knowledge and skills related to nature and the forest to the next generation by means of education and communication.

Environmental education has a positive impact on learning. It improves young people’s skills in going about in nature and using it sustainably, while it also advances their nature literacy, awareness of nature’s impacts on their wellbeing, and understanding of the way nature works.

Learning outdoors brings many health and wellbeing benefits: contact with nature makes it easier to think and encourages creativity, develops motor skills, promotes commitment to learning and the students’ coping, advances social skills and improves interaction within a group.

The children look at the species identification board under the guidance of a wildlife tutor.
Wilderness camp participants in 2017. Photo: Joni Turunen

In Metsähallitus, environmental education is provided by Parks and Wildlife Finland, Wildlife Service Finland, other units of the Metsähallitus group and Forestry Ltd alike. A large number of Metsähallitus staff members interact with children, adolescents and educators while working on environmental education and communication addressed to young people.

Every year, some 37,000 children and adolescents are encountered at Metsähallitus’ service points around Finland. In particular, these encounters take the form of guided activities, including tours of exhibitions and guided walks on nature trails at visitor centres and Science Centre Pilke, in Haltia Nature School as well as in Wildlife Tutor and Junior Ranger activities. Additionally, Metsähallitus organises events, offers support and training for teachers and educators, produces digital teaching materials, carries out projects and supervises on-the-job learners. We also interact with organisations working with children and adolescents and other stakeholders.

Moved by Nature – School-children’s experiences of outdoor activities in nature. A 5-minute video in English.

Materials for enjoyable nature experiences

  • Wilderness passport (eraluvat.fi). Children and adolescents familiarise themselves with wildlife and outdoor recreation to obtain a wilderness passport. This is a fun learning package intended for pupils, secondary school students, many types of clubs and anyone else with an interest in wildlife and outdoor activities.
  • ABC’s of outdoor life (nationalparks.fi). Nature invites us to open up our senses. Understanding biodiversity and knowing how to go about in nature are important life skills and at the core of environmental education. The national parks, other nature destinations, and visitor centres with their services are an excellent and inexhaustible learning environment. Visit this page for helpful tips before you set off.
  • Moved by Nature (pdf). A research in schoolchildren’s experiences of outdoor activities in nature. The main objective of the project was to promote children’s and young people’s health and wellbeing by increasing their levels of green exercise.
  • MAPPA (mappa.fi). In MAPPA material bank you can find over one thousand material sets as well as tools for outdoor learning, environmental education, and teaching about sustainable living. These materials are mainly intended for educational and youth work. (A great number of hits can be found by selecting English as the language in the more detailed search; unfortunately, the headings of the publications are given in Finnish. You can find the English version by clicking on the Finnish heading.)
  • Metsä.fi magazine (subjectaid.fi, in Finnish). Go to SubjectAid to subscribe to our magazine Metsä.fi or other free materials produced by us, for example for your school.

Metsähallitus’ work with children and adolescents

Summer jobs and internships

Every year, we offer summer jobs and internships in Finnish nature to hundreds of young people.

Forest quiz

Forest quiz is a nationwide competition for students between the ages of 13 and 15. So far, over one million people in Finland have taken part in it. Metsähallitus funds quiz prizes and trips associated with it.

Angling Days

On Angling Day and Winter Angling Day, under 18s get to try fishing for free at a number of Metsähallitus’ angling destinations. Angling Day is held on the 1st Saturday of the summer holidays, and every year, around one thousand young anglers around Finland take part. Winter Angling Day usually takes place during the midterm break in spring.

Wildlife Tutors

Wildlife Tutors are keen and responsible wilderness, hunting and fishing enthusiasts who volunteer to share their knowledge with children and adolescents. Wildlife Tutors operate around Finland and can be invited to come and give a talk in your school.

Junior Rangers

Junior Rangers is an activity that provides young people with a thorough introduction to the versatile work of a ranger, or an employee in a conservation area. Junior Rangers familiarise themselves with the ecology and history of a conservation area, go on excursions to great destinations, and help protect the environment while having fun in good company. These activities are centred around Nuuksio National Park.

Finnish Nature Day

Finnish Nature Day, which falls on the last Saturday in August, is dedicated to Finnish nature. It has been celebrated since 2013, and it is gaining a permanent place among the national holidays in Finland. Finnish Nature Day is a day for doing things together and enjoying nature together. Every year, Metsähallitus participates in organising events for this celebration. Come and join us or plan your own festivities!

Services for children at Visitor Centres

Experiential learning environments at Science Centre Pilke

The workshops organised at Science Centre Pilke ( (in Rovaniemi) rely on action-based learning methods. These workshops for schoolchildren support and integrate curricular themes. They also offer a meaningful way of learning about the sustainable use of Northern forests for other groups. The learning environments of Science Centre Pilke include Mottimetsä forest area.

Arctic experiences in Siida Nature Centre

Siida’s exhibitions and events related to culture and nature supplement one another providing a learning environment that can also be used in the curriculum for various school subjects. Visitors can book a themed tours that will add to the exhibitions are on show. Siida also provides learning assignments and study materials free of charge.

Siida carries out regular cultural and nature education cooperation with the area’s schools and day-care centres in Sámi and in Finnish. Siida is also nationally responsible for Finland’s Sámi language nature education as part of the task of Metsähallitus.

Finnish Nature Centre Haltia's Nature School

In the Nature School and exhibitions of Haltia as well as the forests surrounding the Nature Centre, school groups are inspired to learn, experiment, and take action! They are offered Nature School days, excursions to nature trails, guided tours of exhibitions as well as camp activities in summer. Haltia Nature School also provides diverse training for educators.

Events at visitor centres

Metsähallitus’ visitor centres organise a great number of events suitable for children and families. To find ideas, use the event search functionality and, for example, the keyword children (´lapset´in Finnish)